Bipolar disorder causes unusual shifts in mood, activity levels, energy and the ability of a person to carry out day-to-day tasks. The moods range from periods of extremely “up” elated and energised which are known as manic episodes to very “down” sad or hopeless which are known as depressive episodes. Less severe manic phases are known as hypomanic episodes.
When “up” symptoms include:-
-Excessive energy with little need for sleep
-Extreme feelings of unnatural joy
-Unpredictable and risk taking behaviour such as gambling
-Loud and fast talking
-Being Agitated and Irritable
When “down” symptoms include:
-Feeling down, depressed or hopeless
-Decreased energy and activity levels
-Unable to enjoy anything
-Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
This condition can often be confused with day-to-day mood swings, which we all experience but bipolar is a very severe life inhibiting illness, which needs expert help. It is treated with a combination of counselling and medication.
We understand at Dr Julian just how frightening and confusing extreme mood experiences can be but our specialist psychologists can really help. If you think you or someone you know could be suffering with bipolar please do see your doctor or book an appointment with one of our experts in this field.
Anxiety can come in the form of Phobias. This is where a person has an exaggerated or unrealistic sense of danger about a situation or object. If a phobia becomes very severe, a person may organise their life around avoiding their phobia. As well as restricting their day-to-day life, it can cause a lot of distress. Therapy can help with this and help you discover ways to overcome your phobia.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is also a form of anxiety disorder. This is where a person has unwanted, intrusive and often distressing thoughts, images or urges that enter a persons mind as obsessions. These obsessions provoke anxiety and then repetitive behaviours or mental acts are performed (compulsions) that provide temporary relief of the anxiety, but this soon returns causing the cycle to start again. Therapy is a very good treatment for this disorder, allowing a person to understand and work out processes to overcome unwanted thoughts and emotions as well as finding ways to prevent the compulsions.
Taking time to consciously slow down your thoughts and breathing can help calm you down and manage your symptoms of anxiety.
Recording your feelings and what happens when you feel anxious can help you discover what triggers your symptoms.
Stimulants like coffee, excessive alcohol intake and cigarettes can make it difficult for you to relax. Exercise can help release stress and eating healthily improves your overall well being.
Therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Psychological therapies can help you understand the potential causes of your anxiety. Mindfulness therapies can help teach you how to manage your symptoms.
A GP or in more severe cases a Psychiatrist will be able to explore a number of possible treatments such as prescription medication and referral for therapy treatment.